Our people

 

Our NDC Support Programme team draws on a diverse group of specialists in governance and policy, finance, climate change, energy and development. Together, we work with countries on strengthening local capacities to meet the national climate and development targets as outlined in the NDCs.

Our team comprises a global support team, as well as a national project team which includes focal points at UNDP’s country offices, a dedicated project manager and governmental focal points in each of our programme countries. Building on UNDP’s country knowledge and expertise, we provide services that are tailored to local needs and growth targets.

 

Global NDC Team

Yamil Bonduki

Yamil Bonduki is the manager of UNDP's NDC Support Programme, and its predecessor, the Low Emission Capacity Building (LECB) Programme. The programme assists 25 countries around the world to advance NDC implementation for the Paris Agreement. He also oversees UNDP’s technical assistance on the preparation of their reporting commitments (National Communications and Biennial Update Reports) to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), as well as the UNDP-UNFCCC Regional NDC Dialogues. Yamil Bonduki holds a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Rebecca Carman

Rebecca first joined UNDP in 1998 and has supported developing countries on a range of climate change issues, including Nationally Determined Contributions, National Communications, GHG inventory systems, adaptation, mitigation and climate finance. Prior to UNDP, Rebecca worked in the Environment Division of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France. She holds an MBA from one of Australia’s top-ranked business schools.

Countries: Bhutan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam

Focal point:  IKI NDC Support Cluster’s groups on Data and Transparency and Sectoral Approaches, NDC Partnership

 

Verania Chao

Verania has worked for UNDP for more than a decade, where she has developed strong expertise in gender and environment issues. As her work has focused on the integration of gender equality and women's empowerment into national planning and capacity building processes, she is currently spearheading the piloting of gender-responsive NDC implementation in 10 programme countries. Previously, she oversaw the environment, energy and climate change portfolio in UNDP’s country office in Mexico, where she worked with national and subnational governments, civil society organizations and at the community level. Verania holds an MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Countries: Bhutan, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Ghana, Kenya, Lebanon, Philippines, Uganda, Zambia.

Focal Point: Gender-responsive NDCs

 

Alana Craigen

Alana leads the organization of the UNDP/UNFCCC series of Regional NDC Dialogues. She coordinates the participation of government ministries as well as implementing partners, private sector representatives and other experts involved in NDC implementation. In this capacity, Alana also contributes to the evaluation and reporting of said dialogues. Alana has supported global UN events in different areas, including forced migration, Palestinian rights, climate change, and long-term low GHG emissions and development strategies and has previously worked in both the public and private sector. Alana holds a BSc in Economics and a MSc in Sustainable Development from Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

Michael Comstock

Michael provides technical support to countries on climate change mitigation, NDCs, and low-emission development.  He also coordinates the UNDP/UNFCCC series of Regional NDC Dialogues to build capacity and exchange national experiences on NDCs.  Prior to joining UNDP in 2014, he was the Senior Manager of International Climate Dialogue at the Center for Clean Air Policy.  In his five years at CCAP, Michael helped launch a technical support initiative on NAMAs, worked with UNFCCC negotiators to advance the climate negotiations, and led CCAP’s engagement with the Green Climate Fund and NAMA Facility.  Previously, he spent two years in El Salvador implementing sustainable development projects.  Michael holds a Master's degree in international development from Georgetown University.

Countries: Colombia, Guatemala, Paraguay

Focal Point: IKI NDC Support Cluster working group on Political and Institutional Frameworks, NDC Dialogues

 

Katharina Davis

Katharina connects the dots within UNDP and beyond to advance strategic planning for policy advocacy and communications on NDCs. She brings more than 12 years of experience in the international development and private sector, having worked at GEF, UNICEF, the Global Fund, as well as renowned companies in investment research, economic consulting and global communications.  Katharina completed her M.A. and post-graduate studies in International Political Economy at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI), Geneva, where she studied the social impact of economic shocks, innovation and capacity building. She also earned an MPA with a focus on Urban Planning from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and is currently studying City Resilience Design & Management at Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona.

Focal point: Urban areas, NDC Policy Advocacy

 

Catherine Diam-Valla

Catherine is an expert on energy access with a particular focus on enterprise development, GHG emissions reduction from household appliances, monitoring and evaluation, and gender and social inclusion. She has been in the environmental and renewable energy sector for more than 12 years and holds a Master of Sciences degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Johns Hopkins University.

Countries: Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria

 

Fabiane Flesch

Fabiane is in charge of programme operations and leads on budgeting, forecasting, analysis, and presentation of financial performance in order to enable data-driven and strategic decisions. Working with UNDP since 2004, she brings a broad range of experiences including UN field and headquarter experience, as well as public sector expertise from the Brazilian Ministry of Education. As the resident operations expert, Fabiane provides solutions and guidance to the team on all operations issues. She guides country focal points on monitoring national project delivery and assists the country teams on their financial information and budgeting. Fabiane is originally from Brazil and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Public Relations from Centro Universitário de Brasília.

 

Gianluca Merlo

Gianluca is an engineer with deep experience in the fields of energy, oil & gas and water management. Since 2006, he has been consulting on emissions mitigation projects, greenhouse gas inventories, climate finance and climate change adaptation projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. He was the chief executive of the Latin American Carbon Program CAF. Based in UNDP’s Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama, Gianluca holds an M.A. Cum Laude in Environmental Engineering from the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas and a specialization in Hydrogeology from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain.

Countries: Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru

 

Susanne Olbrisch

Working with UNDP since 2008, Susanne focuses on climate finance issues. She has been co-developing UNDP methodologies for climate finance and biodiversity finance, and has been leading the work on investment and financial flows assessments for mitigation and adaptation. Prior to this, she worked on adaptation with UNESCO in Bangkok, as well as with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).  She also worked with UNEP in Nairobi on environmental education and training and with GIZ in India on water and sanitation issues. She has a Master’s degree in economics, politics and geography from the University of Bonn.

NDC Countries: Egypt, Morocco.  Finance work: Thailand, Vietnam, El Salvador, Uzbekistan

Focal point: NDC Cluster Finance (UNDP focal point)

 

Alexandra Soezer

Alexandra is an expert in climate change mitigation and carbon finance. She supports countries in a variety of areas to enhance NDC implementation, including private sector engagement, structured finance, MRV, NDC mitigation action design and implementation. Previously, Alexandra worked with MDG Carbon, UNDP’s corporate framework for carbon finance for nearly seven years, building on her experience that she gained at the Austrian JI/CDM Programme, managed by Kommunalkredit. Alexandra earned her PhD in Environmental Sciences at the Austrian Institute of Technology with a specialization on fluctuating micro-climatic stresses on plants.

Countries: The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lao PDR, Uganda, Vanuatu

Focal point: Nairobi Framework Partnership, Paris Climate Bond

 

Allison Towle

Allison focuses on programme oversite, knowledge management and exchange, and helps support the newly launched gender-responsive component of the NDC Support Programme. After joining UNDP in 2010, Allison started working on the National Communications Support Programme before moving on to the Low Emission Capacity Building and NDC Support Programmes. She holds a Master’s degree in International Development and Social Change. Prior to UNDP, Allison worked in international education and lived in Jerusalem, Kyoto, New Delhi and San Francisco. 

Countries: Lebanon

Focal point: IKI NDC Support Cluster Focal Point

 

Nilay Tuncok

Nilay is a Junior Consultant supporting the gender-responsive component of the NDC Support Programme in 10 pilot countries. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where she specialized in human rights and gender policy. Prior to joining UNDP, Nilay worked with various organizations to help promote and mainstream gender equality in various development fields, such as health and education.

 

James Vener

James is an environmental engineer with more than 10 years of experience in providing on the ground technical assistance on climate change issues. Working for UNDP and UN Environment, he focused on policymaking, mitigation actions, and monitoring and reporting systems. James has an environmental engineering background and professional PE certification, and previously worked extensively in construction management, clean-up of contaminated work sites, and M&A environmental due diligence. James holds a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Florida and an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University.

Countries: DRC, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Zambia

Focal point: IKI NDC Cluster Sectoral Approaches Working Group

 

Tenke Andrea Zoltani

Tenke Zoltani is an expert in the field of impact investing, focusing on strategy, asset allocation, and direct investments, specifically in the environment sector. She was most recently Director of Impact Investing at UBS and has a decade of experience in the field of sustainable finance. Before joining UBS, Tenke founded Better Finance, a boutique advisory company to identify, design, implement and manage sustainable financial solutions to impactful investing and philanthropic giving. She built her expertise in London, advising governments and utilities on carbon finance and working alongside Lord Stern in climate research. In addition to serving on several Boards and Committees, Tenke holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University and a M.Sc. in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics.

 

UNDP

Stephen Gold

Stephen is the Global Team Leader on Climate Change for UNDP. He is also the Global Environmental Finance unit’s GEF Principal Technical Advisor for low-emission and climate-resilient development. In this capacity, he manages a global team that is supporting countries on a wide variety of climate change issues to prepare and implement NDCs, and access and implement climate finance. He has over 30 years of professional experience in the field of environment, energy and sustainable development working with UNDP, the U. N. Institute for Training and Research, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, state and local governments and the private sector. Stephen holds an M.A. in Public Policy with a focus on public participation, governance and development.

Focal point: NDC Partnership, LEDS Global partnership, Long-term Strategies Working Group

 

Jan Kellett

As a Special Advisor for External Engagement for UNDP’s work on climate change and disaster risk reduction, Jan is leading on private sector partnerships for the NDC Support Programme. Before UNDP, Jan was a senior research advisor at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), where he worked on resilience and risk management. Jan also led the Global Humanitarian Assistance programme at Development Initiatives and served more than ten years for the United Nations in 15 diverse post-conflict and post-disaster deployments. He also worked for six years for HSBC, one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations. Jan has a Master’s degree in Civilization and Barbarism.

Focal point: Private Sector Partnerships - Finance and Investment

 

Louis Da Costa

Louis joined UNDP’s climate and disaster reduction unit as a junior communications consultant after graduating from the London School of Economics with an MSc in Environment and Development. In this capacity, he also supports social media (@UNDPClimate) and communications for the NDC Support Programme. He takes a particular interest in renewable energy and climate finance, evolving from his Maths and Economics undergraduate degree from the University of Leeds and his financial services background.

Focal point: Social Media and Communications for UNDP Climate

 

Priyanka Chaudhary

Priyanka keeps the programme running, providing programme, financial management and operational support. Prior to this assignment, she was supporting the roll out of UNDP’s Post-Disaster Needs Assessment Project and the Integrated Climate Risk Management Programme. She also worked at the UNDP Nepal Country Office, served as a UN Volunteer in the United Nation’s Mission in Liberia and worked in UNDP’s Sub Regional Resource Facility SURF. Prior to UNDP, Priyanka worked as a conference consultant for UNICEF, and had other assignments in the United Mission to Nepal.  Priyanka holds an MBA from Sikkim Manipal University.